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Textile, clothing and footwear stories

The following stories relate to Tasmania’s Textiles, Clothing & Footwear sector:

Worthy wool

Australia’s oldest textile mill is weaving a little magic for women doing it tough. Launceston’s Waverley Mills was established in 1874, and now beautifully warm woollen blankets made from recycled offcuts are being donated to women’s shelters ahead of the winter chill.

26 May 2019, Edition 205

Tassie wool rides to success

Edition 202_BreatheVelo

An innovative Tasmanian is manufacturing high-performance cycling gear out of the island state’s celebrated merino wool, and it’s already generating worldwide interest.

12 February 2019, Edition 202

Hollywood meets Tassie sheep farmers

It was a brush with Hollywood royalty for a sheep-farming couple from southern Tasmania. Matt and Vanessa Dunbabin run 8,000 sheep and hundreds of cattle on their 6,400 hectare property near Dunalley. But, they definitely got more than they bargained for when they travelled to Italy to collect a Green Carpet Fashion Award in Milan. Much to their surprise, Australian star Cate Blanchett presented them with their Eco Stewardship Award for sustainable farming and conservation practices. As she did, the home-grown Hollywood superstar told the audience: “An ambitious program of reform has seen the best Australian woolgrowers set new benchmarks for producing this most precious natural fibre. Of course, nobody tells this tale better than those working to progress this critical movement.” The awards are considered one of the world’s top fashion and sustainability events.

14 October 2018, Edition 199

Runaway Cecil grows a 38kg fleece

Cecil, a Tasmanian sheep lost in the bush for several years, has fallen 3kg short of the world record for the heaviest fleece. The very woolly wether underwent a major trim in Launceston in June after being rescued from a cliff ledge in a disused quarry at Heybridge in the north-west. He had been trapped for about a week. The five-year-old went missing from a property near Bothwell in the Central Highlands two years ago, but it’s not known how he travelled the 200km to Heybridge. His 38kg fleece just missed the 41.1kg record set by another stray wether near Canberra two years ago. Cecil’s fleece was wet when shorn and the weight is unofficial. It took shearer Susan Gunter about half an hour to relieve Cecil of his coat — 10 times longer than an average 6kg fleece. “I was surprised that he just sat there,” she said. “Maybe he figured out the game was up and this might help him a lot.”

4 July 2017, Edition 185

One-farm woollen suits on sale

A range of men’s suits created solely from wool grown on one Tasmanian property was launched by menswear specialist MJ Bale in May. Matt Jensen, the founder of MJ Bale, told Glynis Traill-Nash, Fashion Editor of The Australian, that the Kingston Collection was conceived in a meeting four years ago with Tasmanian grazier Simon Cameron, who owns Kingston, near Conara, and is President of the Australian Superfine Woolgrowers Association. “We spoke about this idea and the merits of it for everybody,” Mr Jensen said. “I explained to him how passionate I am about Australian wool and the vertical integration of Australian fibres through to the consumer.” The complexity of the supply chain in fashion, from raw wool through to milling in Italy, made it a time-consuming project. The reward is provenance and premium pricing. Mr Cameron said: “There are consumers out there concerned with provenance, whether it’s beef or cheese. They [want to] know where it came from, where the raw materials came from. A line like this is the ultimate in traceability. People can come to the farm and meet the sheep that provided the wool.”

6 June 2017, Edition 184

Two Tassie gifts for Princess Charlotte

Edition 161 The Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, shows off Princess Charlotte's Tasmanian merino cot blanket.

Official Tasmanian-made gifts from the Australian and Tasmanian governments have been selected for Britain’s newest gurgling celebrity, Princess Charlotte.

2 June 2015, Edition 161

Itch-free wool has users Smitten

Polar expeditioners and discerning fashionistas are beating parallel paths to the doors of Smitten Merino, a niche Tasmanian business built on itch-free superfine merino wool fabric and a stringent commitment to quality.

11 May 2013

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27 June 2019, Edition 206

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